Saturday, April 12, 2008

Seeds of Compassion and Beauty Being Sown in Seattle and Environs

I have just had three remarkable days of receiving through the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama here in the Puget Sound Area. I was aware that he was coming, but I had no idea how personally touched and moved I would be...

Two days ago, on Thursday, I was to have lunch with a wonderful woman I hadn't seen in over a year. She called me in the morning to say that a sand mandala was being made in the Monti Cristo Hotel in downtown Everett (just a couple miles from where we had planned to meet), and would I like to meet her there before going out for lunch? I had no idea about this until Lynette called to let me know! We met at the Hotel mentioned above to watch two gracious, humble Tibetan monks (from the Dalai Lama's own monastery, Ithaca, NY branch) work on the most beautiful mandala -- representing the quality of compassion -- I have ever seen. It was so beautiful that it made me weep.

I was so taken by the experience of seeing this mandala in the making that I decided to take my daughter to see it the next day. They were going to have a "dismantling ceremony" for the mandala at 4PM, so my daughter and I went to see the completed mandala just before the appointed time. The small lobby of the Hotel was filled with the hum and beauty of a diverse group of people. The ceremony of taking the mandala "down" was a very thoughtful and reflective one, honoring of everything and everyone who had helped to create the experience, as well as those who had participated by coming to see and take part in the receiving of its beauty. There was a deeply reverent quality to the whole experience, and again, I was moved to tears. Clearly, the entire area around the Monti Cristo Hotel was blessed by this gentle, thoughtful, and heart-felt creation and later dissolution of the Compassion Mandala. (The colored sand, by the way, was placed in a beautiful glass vase, then covered with an ornate "hat" and textile covering that made it almost look like a large doll, and was later released into the Everett Harbor. Some people even caravaned to the appointed place to witness this process.)

Then today, thanks to a generous healer and friend of mine, I was gifted tickets to attend His Holiness's talk on "Seeds of Compassion," held at the Qwest Field Events Center in the South end of Seattle. There were around 55,000 people who attended this powerful event from across our state. Many people from all cultures and diverse groups came from the four corners of Washington. Two hundred drummers opened this gathering with a powerful rhythm symbolizing the Heart of Mother Earth. It was deeply inspiring to hear from so many, including His Holiness, about how we can plant Seeds of Compassion, especially as we connect with our children. How we care and honor our children is a testament to how we are living our lives. Our children reflect the abundance (or lack thereof) of our compassion. We were all encouraged to find and commit to new ways of connecting with our hearts, with the present moment, and to create more gentle moments to be human -- to connect one to another, from heart to heart.

These three days have opened up my heart and helped me to see that indeed, there is a new rhythm blessing our world today, a rhythm that is more gentle, more humble, more creative and healing. I sense that we are all opening up to the Seeds of Beauty and Compassion that reside deep in our souls. May Peace, Hope, and Compassion prevail on Earth, Dancing Heart